Changes to Section 21 notices from October

by Property 118

16:15 PM, 26th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Changes to Section 21 notices from October

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Changes to Section 21 notices from October

On 1st October 2018, changes to the Section 21 Notice come into force for letting agents and landlords. This will require all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), regardless of their start date, to comply with guidelines as to when and how a landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice, which enables them to terminate a tenancy agreement.

When issuing a Section 21 Notice, landlords and agents will now be required to use Form 6A. The form, prescribed by Government, combines the two previous types of Notices1 into a single Notice for both periodic and fixed-term tenancies. Therefore, landlords and agents should stop using their existing Notices next Monday.

In addition, under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords and agents wishing to issue their tenants with a Section 21 Notice should:

  • Ensure they have shared the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in Englandguide with tenants;
  • Make sure the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate and the tenants have seen it;
  • Publish the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (except when the property isn’t required to have one);
  • Inform tenants which scheme their deposit is protected in;
  • Where the property is licensed, provide a copy of the licence to all of the tenants.

To help members and non-members, ARLA Propertymark is offering a dedicated course on ending residential tenancies, which will aim to help letting agents understand the changes to the Section 21 Notices, and what it means in practice. Additionally, members can contact ARLA Propertymark’s Legal Helpline if they need further guidance, and fact sheets are available for members to download from the website.

 David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark comments: “When the changes come into effect, it’s important agents are executing effective Section 21 Notices when necessary. There is a legal question over whether the additional documents need to be served on pre-October 2015 tenancies, but it’s very unlikely that a judge would throw out a case on the basis that an agent has provided the tenant with too much information. A test case before the courts is probably required to determine exactly what needs to be served for these tenancies.

“Therefore, we think that the safest course of action for letting agents is to serve all the documentation when issuing a Section 21 Notice. The Deregulation Act 2015 makes the will of Parliament clear – these documents should be served – so it’s easier to comply with the spirit of the law rather than rely on a potential legal technicality.

“These changes highlight so clearly that the current system is a mess which must be simplified and improved. We call on the Government to bring forward its promised Call for Evidence on a new Housing Court and work with us to build a system fit for today’s private rented sector.”



Comments

Adrian Jones

12:45 PM, 27th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Anyone know whether this applies to tenancies in Wales?

The first solicitor I asked said No, the second said Yes. In order to be sure I emailed Rent Smart Wales who told me they didn't know anything and suggested I contact Shelter or the CAB!

Michael Barnes

19:07 PM, 27th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Adrian Jones at 27/09/2018 - 12:45
AFAIK it is England only; housing is a devolved responsibility.

Michael Barnes

19:50 PM, 27th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Yet another organisation demonstrating their lack of understanding of the legislation, yet trying to explain it.

The only S21 validity requirement (excluding any HMO changes) for pre-October 2015 tenancies is to use the prescribed form.
The legislation expressly excludes How to Rent.
The other requirements (GSC, EPC) are defined in regulations that state that they ONLY apply to post-September 2015 tenancies.

However, as judges may not be fully aware of the legislation, providing these documents may be advisable.

Chris Daniel

22:10 PM, 27th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

A bit embarassing for RSW, shows Landlords getting even less for their Licensing fee ( even if it is a fraction of English L.A's Daylight Robbery scheme's )

Adrian Jones

8:13 AM, 29th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 27/09/2018 - 19:07
Excuse my ignorance Michael, what is AFAIK?

Jan Martin

9:30 AM, 29th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 27/09/2018 - 19:07
Adrian that is terrible for rent smart wales not to know.I have my properties in wales too .

Adrian Jones

10:53 AM, 29th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan Martin at 29/09/2018 - 09:30
Hi Jan,

I have asked Rent Smart who sets the rules in Wales and who they are accountable to. I'll let you know if/when they reply.

Mike

11:12 AM, 29th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Adrian Jones at 29/09/2018 - 08:13That is "as far as I know "
I am also confused with regards to new housing act 2016 part 3 section 57 abandonment of property, no one knows for sure if this newly approved law has come into force yet or not, if anyone has any idea that can help me give my absent tenants for 4 months now without paying any rent or contacting me if they are going to come back or not, they told me they were going to their country Romania for a period of 4 weeks and have not come back and left a few belongings behind not worth more than say £250.00, a simple way to end their tenancy would be to follow procedure laid in this new act under section 57. other than this I will have to pay court fees on top of massive rent loss, by having to serve a section 8 or a section 21 notice and then take it through courts to get a possession order.

Chris Daniel

17:45 PM, 30th September 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 29/09/2018 - 11:12The Abandonment process in The Housing & Planning Act 2016 that was Due to come into effect for England in April this year - Still hasn't been implemented.

Adrian Jones

11:32 AM, 4th October 2018
About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jan Martin at 29/09/2018 - 09:30
Morning Jan,

I've just received an email from Rent Smart Wales saying my enquiry has been reviewed by a senior manager and he has confirmed the new rules do NOT apply in Wales.

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